Tag Archives: hard-mode

Another fun raiding week

I’ve been a bit quiet but that’s partly due to a lack of general LOTRO news, coupled with a busy schedule for me.  However, I did have a pretty fun week getting into some fun group adventures in LOTRO.

On Tuesday I got in another run of the 12-main raid BG which although not terribly successful I am enjoying it quite a bit.  This raid certainly is challenging and really makes folks pay attention and work together.  It also gives all classes a chance to shine as it isn’t just a tank & spank, it isn’t a DPS race, it requires lots of agro control, healing, CC, and DPS all working together.  The first part of this raid, called the Gauntlet, can get a little crazy as there are a large number of mobs with timed waves, that all have unique abilities which cause numerous problems.  There are big Uruks with huge melee range 360 degree AoEs so those need to be kept out of the group or really bad things happen 🙂  This is where the timing comes in as 2 Uruks aren’t too bad (one tank grabs each) but the third really starts to cause problems.  While the 2 tanks are playing with the Uruks (and keeping in range of the healers) the rest of the group is dealing with Wargs and Goblins.  The wargs are really annoying with fears and silences so you need to get them down first and fear/mez the ones you’re not DPS’ing.  The goblins are mainly just annoying and usually just drag those along.  The groups I’ve been with have this down relatively well, periodically individuals with die but luckily they just pop back up at the door and can easily rejoin the rest of the group.  As you can imagine with all these guys running around this fight requires good communication and gets really hard if you’re with folks who don’t have voice chat.

Once you get through the Gauntlet you come up to the first boss in BG – Durchest.  This is where I messed up on Tuesday (fixed it on the subsequent runs though) and while distracted thought I knew our plan but in fact we were doing it a different way.  The fight is challenging in that he applies a threat de-buff on the tanks that slowly overtime increasing such that the tanks are at –100% threat.  And as a timed mechanism there are adds that come out.  I’ve only been in there on my Warden so better understand that part then the add mechanic, so I’m not really going to touch on that.  But for Durchest there are 2 main ways to tank him – agro swapping, or delayed tanking.  Agro swapping requires one tank in front and the other behind with each “fighting” each other for agro such that when one is tanking, their debuff is increasing, while the other tank is building threat as hopefully his debuff wears off.  In theory then the debuff is only on one of the tanks and they just trade off during the fight.  The delayed tank method requires 2 tanks to go get the debuff (he can only have a max of like 210% debuff out at any time) and keep the debuff such that a 3rd tank can tank away with a much smaller or non-existent debuff and things go as normal.  In addition to this mechanic, Durchest has a couple other tricks up his sleeve.  First off, he hits for a TON – I’ll routinely get hit for 4K a pop and quite often back to back 4K hits.  In addition, we will as part of his script walk out and take a swing at someone in the group for that same 4k hit.  So this causes issues for the healers as someone in the group will get smacked (hopefully not while there are adds) and then he’ll come back and smack around the tanks.  Usually our trouble has come from this mechanic in that the healers can’t keep up with this or there’s an unlucky crit or something like that. And this is where Durchest gets even more annoying in that he has a huge heal when anyone in the group dies, and if it is a tank you then have huge agro issues which will usually create a wipe.  We had a fairly decent run on Tuesday but couldn’t get him down before folks had to log.  Part of the annoying mechanic in BG is that the Gauntlet will reset in 45 minutes so you only get a couple chances with Durchest before you need to re-clear that area.

So, on to Wednesday and I popped on to see what other trouble I could get into.  I responded to a GLFF looking for a Minstrel for Dar Narburg (or however you spell it) as they were working on the Blind One.  I’ve been in DN a number of times, but hadn’t done this fight so it was pretty interesting.  Not to mention that I had to re-train my brain to heal folks as opposed to tanking.  The BO is another interesting fight which no matter how much you read about it is really hard to wrap your brain around until you’re actually there.  To explain he has the potential to put a real nasty fear (might be poison, I forget) on players but the bad part is that it can spread.  So, in order to deal with this the raid needs to spread out and keep at a distance for the first phase of this fight.  Our first attempt had some positioning issues and I ended up getting too close to others which combined with everything else going on just created too much of a problem such that we wiped.  We then got that down and made it through that phase into the second phase where the real problem comes from the massive AoEs and the random holes that spawn which “stun” people trapped in them.  This combination ended up being too much for us and after a couple more wipes we called it a night.

And then last night I went back into BG with the same group I’ve been in there with the past few times.  We had some tighter time restrictions and took a bit to get started as we were short a couple so we only got 2 attempts in on Durchest.  We ended up doing the delayed tanking method and got REALLY close to getting Durchest down, but we ran into another problem I think.  We were going for Hardmode which requires you to kill 10 adds before Durchest dies, however we were killing Durchest too quickly and had to pull back on him and speed up on the adds.  I think this caused a bit too much stress and panic on the group and things just slipped out of control.  We then had a death with popped him from under 15K to back over 200K and then ran into agro issues with Durchest running wild, thus causing the wipe.  Now the interesting part of this was that after the first portion where myself and the guard each got up to the 100% threat debuff, neither of us could get back anywhere near that high.  There was a large portion of time where I had no debuff on me even though I was in the proper position.  The mechanic here is that the debuff wears off after a minute but his frontal AoE attack, when it hits, will reset the timer and increase the debuff.  The guard did have protection on me which boosts my defenses and I guess it is possible I was just really luckily in my avoidance such that he just never hit me.  But either way, it was a fun run but terribly frustrating as we got SO close to bringing him down.

Not sure how much raiding I’ll be getting into the next bit here but I really am enjoying it even though we haven’t been terribly successful.  And although BG has some annoying mechanics I really enjoy the raid and it is definitely challenging and I agree it is by far the hardest raid in LOTRO without question.  I’ll probably work to get the other couple of pieces my Minstrel needs such that I can bring him into BG as needed.

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Warden Centric Forums Recap

I have a store of good forum posts so I wanted to share a few of them with you all.

First up I wanted to pass on the Spring Blogger Gathering announcement that sounds like a blast, so hopefully I will be able to attend.  The event will be Saturday May 15th at 9pm Eastern over on the Nimrodel server.  Primarily a discussion on what folks blog and what readers want from those blogs.  Even if you’re not from Nimrodel (like me) you can quickly roll an alt and get through the intro to join in the fun.

This next post was something that I never noticed before but apparently if you used one of our gambit masteries you would enable auto-attack which in certain situations can be a bad thing.  However, fear not as shortly after our knight in blue text (Graalx2) posted that this has been fixed but will not make it in until the next patch cycle.

There’s a pretty good discussion going on that talks about Warden tweaks or what we’d like to see added or changed from the class.  Naso24 does a pretty good job of articulating ideas and most aren’t terribly game breaking, although there are a couple that will never happen.  For me, I think I agree with most of his top 4 sections but he goes a tad far (which he admits) on the “for Fun” section as most of those sound very overpowered.

For those of you (like me at times) struggling with in-combat power regen (ICPR) you might take a look at this thread as there are some good thoughts on it.  Honestly on my Warden I don’t think there exists the concept of too much ICPR 🙂

For those of you who are interested in PvMP there’s a pretty decent Guide to the Moors posted which has a really good breakdown of the various different creeps and how to fight them.  In addition to the post, there’s also a hefty amount of discussion,

For those of you looking to learn some of the trickier instances/fights, you might want to check out Ferghuss’s post on the Protectors of the Fire kinship forums over on Firefoot, as he covers SG and the watcher.  Now his artwork isn’t going to get him into any museums, but it is simple enough to get the message across.

And finally, following up from my post on BG the other day, you might want to check out this post regarding tanking the Fire and Shadow twins in BG. I haven’t tried that fight, but just knowing the mechanics and read the discussion gives me a pretty good handle on the fight before walking in the door.

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BG Videos and some good grouping tips

First up, I’m sure many of you already listen a Casual Stroll to Mordor but if you don’t or are behind I highly recommend Episode 34a as it is a great conversation between a few of the folks from The Council of the Secret Fire kinship over on Landroval.  A bit of a long episode I will admit but they cover many of the instances, all of the classes, and numerous different topics.  And of course there’s some good Warden discussion in there as Azz is another Warden lover 🙂

I also wanted to pass on a couple of videos from the BG Raid that I saw over on the forums.  I was very interested to see how these guys did it as the Durchest fight is still pretty fresh in my mind.  It is a little hard to get a feel for the tanking methodology as the videos are from the Minstrel’s machine but it is still helpful to see how things work.  They captured and posted the first 2 boss fights both doing it in challenge mode.  Here’s the post on the forums which has all the links for the various resolutions.  I’ll also embed the HD versions for those who want to just look at the videos.

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Volume 3 patch notes and other assorted news

My apologies for the lack of activity of late, I blame it on a number of things but hopefully I should be back to a more normal schedule.  And most importantly I should hopefully get back to being in game more!

First up are the Volume 3 Book 1 patch notes that are currently up on Bullroarer.  This is mainly a patch of bug fixes, but one thing of special notice for me was the new meta deeds for Angmar, Moria, and Lothlorien.  Thanks to LOTRO Weekly for the snaps and details of the deeds!  I really like this idea for a couple of reasons.  First off, who doesn’t want more horses and goats!  Secondly this gives people more incentives to do other dungeons and quests that they might not have normally done.  It will also provide more options for people leveling to run group content before hitting the Moria and Mirkwood instances.  I remember when they added a bunch of deeds to all the Angmar instances and those dungeons were PACKED for a significant period of time so hopefully this addition will do the same thing for all these instances.  The other interesting item from Bullroarer is a new Bard discount of 20% which (details of acquiring said reward is still TBD) will be really handy for all of us who swap traits depending on the content being run.

In addition to the patch notes, there’s also been a bunch of news over on the My.LOTRO site as Duwis points out and clarifies.  The first post confirms and explains how to access the My.LOTRO side from the in-game browser.  I really like this idea as the in-game browser always bugged me as it was more of an annoyance and not terribly useful.  Now it seems like it will be quite handy!  Duwis has another post with suggestions for how to properly maintain and update the Lorebook, so make sure to check that out if you’re interested or frustrated with the Lorebook.

For those of you who follow the lore but every once in a while get tripped up, Snowlock from the forums has posted a pretty short guide on the back-story for LOTRO and the history of Middle-Earth.  Some good tidbits (and maps) in there with a lot of information that either I didn’t know or had forgotten 🙂

In addition to the LOTRO Weekly blog I mentioned before, the folks over at MMORSEL.com have put up a number of cool updates.  For those of you struggling with the idea of radiance they have a nice write-up as well as detailed descriptions for all the various armor sets. They’ve also built a pretty slick utility for planning out and spending points on your Legendary items such that you can see how high you can level them without having to waste any scrolls.  They were also nice enough to post the instructions as well as the handy tool.

This last piece doesn’t really impact me, but I thought it was pretty cool so I wanted to share with those who might be helped by it.  I first saw this over at Mordor of Bust where they’ve posted a good walkthrough and explanation of the LOTRO Flashboost utility.  Now sadly it only works on Windows 7 (well sad for me as I’m on XP) but it appears pretty helpful in increasing performance or LOTRO.  In the post are links to not only the official Lorebook page for this utility but also the forum post with more discussion and support.  If you’re running Windows 7, it looks like it would be worth at least checking it out to see if you would benefit.

That’s all for now, I actually decided mid-post to hold some things for a bit later so I didn’t have a 14 page post…

Getting back into a LOTRO state of mind

I’ve been very distracted this past week, but things are starting to get back more to LOTRO.  Part of my problem in LOTRO has been a lack of motivation as I currently don’t have all that much left to do on my mains.  I know I do have things to do, but without time to raid, I’m not sure it is really worth it.  So I probably will continue on some of those paths but also think about either working on my Captain (level 62) or one of my alts – most likely my Runekeeper.  I have another post in the works on skirmish difficulty that will probably come out in the next day or so as well as my next segment on the LOTRO Reporter covering the Warden’s journey to level 45.

For this post, I mainly wanted to share various links and blogs that I’m come across the past couple of days.

First off is a good detailed walkthrough of the epic quest line in LOTRO up through Volume 2 Book 6.  So if you’re stuck somewhere in the line, or are returning to Volume one and want a recap of what’s happened I’d suggest a read as certainly the story is one of the best parts of the epic line.

In addition to the epic line, one of my favorite parts about LOTRO is not only is attention to the lore but also the subtle hints that are dropped throughout the game.  There’s a long thread up on the forums (sprinkled with dev postings) talking about the Palantir of Osgiliath and its part in the epic line.  There are some spoilers in there if you haven’t finished Volume 1 book 9 (I believe) but there is some very interesting comments and discussions in there around that very important aspect of the story going forward.

The next 2 posts are concerning the Dol Goldur instances, so if you’re not running those you can skip to the next paragraph 🙂  I have yet to run the BG 12-man raid, but there’s some good discussion on Morgaraf’s agro wipe up on the forums.  I mention the agro wipe here as from what I understand threat management is a big part of BG and needs to be considered not only in this fight but the final boss as well.

Now I have run into this one numerous times, but there’s some good information and discussion about the Sword Halls sorcerer, which is the fire boss with the annoying flame trails that chase you.  Interesting points about the flame mechanic and the ways to interrupt it.

And finally, I wanted to give a shout out to a couple new blogs starting up.  The first being the Uruk Hunter which is a blog started by Saks talking about his journeys through Middle-Earth on the Vilya server.  And second (only because they’re actually a blogging duo) is the Khazad Guard which is a husband and wife alt-aholic duo who chronicle their dwarven adventures.  Fun stuff on both of their sites, so make sure to check them out.

Warden Forum Nuggets

As usual, the Warden boards of late have been filled with quite a few really good posts, so I wanted to make sure everyone saw them.  And at the bottom, there’s a pretty good in-game champ quote that I couldn’t resist re-posting 😉

The first post is centered around Warden DPS, not that we should ever be mistaken for a DPS class but what’re some ways to get a higher output.  Long post short, trait spear line, high might, high melee offense rating/critical rating, and good legacies on your weapons.  Personally I am leaning towards having some DPS weapons as opposed to just tanking ones as it is easier, quicker, and cheaper to swap weapons then it is to completely re-trait.  Also a refresher on what good DPS rotations are, which essentially are the spear line gambits 😉

After that, we go to our main role of tanking.  The first post primarily discusses the difference between the Fist line and the Shield line and when each are preferred.  The thread does start with the excitement over Perceived Threat being recently fixed, which does make the First line more viable.  The general consensus is that Shield is slightly better for the overall healing abilities but there are cases (BG for one) when you won’t be using your HoTs and there’s lots of –threat debuffs tossed around – making the Fist line pretty appealing.  Following a similar line of thought there’s a thread on setups for BG which not only follows the trait line from above, but also has some good ideas for BG in general.  If you’re a Warden planning to run BG, I’d highly recommend those posts and probably a conversation or 2 with a couple of the posters there that have actually run that raid.  And actually, there’s some good tanking posts in those the would be of use for everyone running that raid.

I think I’ve talked about this a couple of times, but there’s another pretty decent explanation of the differences between Wardens and Guardians.  The BG posts above got into this a bit in talking about the raid mechanics, but this post is more generic.  To summarize, both are good fun classes who can tank very well with their individual strengths and weaknesses 🙂  But, IMO a well played Warden usually will provide more value to a group and to a lesser extent the raid.

My last Warden thread is another “hot-bar” setup which I think is an interesting idea (well ideas actually as the OP links to another thread).  This one mainly focuses on the 2-builder mastery skills we get and can trait for but also has some nifty layouts.  I’m confident my Warden bars are pretty well set (for my taste) but new Wardens or folks who don’t like theirs might enjoy the post.

I also wanted to post a congrats to Telchalin and Madame of Nimrodel who managed to duo the Sword Halls instance in Hard-mode!  They’re a guardian/burglar pair and that’s certainly not a feat to be taken lightly.  It gives me some ideas as I do have a number of burglar friends 😉

And finally, I love to tease my Champion friends but I didn’t realize the LOTRO devs agreed with me – check out these dwarves from Dolven View.  And in case you haven’t been there, that’s the Guardian class vendor talking trash to the Champion vendor 😉

Monday Forum update

So I wanted to share a few things I found interesting while checking up on the forums over the weekend.

I’ll start off with a really good informational Lore post by Hakon_Stormbrow that shows a timeline of all the lands and kingdoms throughout the history of Middle-Earth.  Pretty helpful as I’m also making my way through the Silmarillion and learning all the early history so seeing how that maps to the “current’ history of LOTRO is quite handy.

I’ll continue first with the warden posts, and then finish with some regarding minstrels.

First off the discussion on which weapon to use – swords or spears.  I personally have always used a spear since it looks cooler and I thought the bleed would counter for any other damage increase obtained from the increased hit chance of the sword.  However, as mentioned in this thread it really ends up being quite close to a mathematical wash.  The general rule seems to be whichever has the better legacies, but that a sword might be better for mobs that are higher levels then you.  But, like many have commented on neither one is substantially better then the other – so just pick which has better legacies or whichever floats your boat. 🙂

The next was a question regarding Adroit Maneuver which is a length 4 gambit that increases our attack speed.  I remember initially thinking this would be a really cool gambit and I did use it frequently but I quickly got over it as I realized Warden’s Triumph (length 5 gambit) hits for more and provides a much better damage buff.  And with good usage of our masteries, weapon speed really doesn’t matter all that much.  And it appears that I’m not alone in this thought process as many on the forums agree that Adroit Maneuver is not worth using at all once you get the length 5 gambits.

For those of you looking to tank the Mirkwood BG raid, there’s some good discussion in this thread regarding some of the issues some have with it and some ideas for mitigating them.  The main issues the poster has are with him dying and not being able to re-establish agro, threat transfers, and the huge hit to ICPR.  All 3 of these issues are actually pretty common in other areas so even if you’re not in BG there’s some good ideas/lessons to be learned from it.  One of the main points that I don’t always remember is that champs have the ability to transfer threat both from them and to them and as such can transfer their threat to you in case you die to help you better catch up.

There also was a little more discussion on the strategies behind soloing sword halls (SH).  There are now 2 posts on this topic the newer one and the original. It is a fun thing to try and play around with, but from a time perspective it is not the most optimal way to farm anything.  SH hard mode is certainly easier and quicker and even the easy mode can be duo’d quite effectively much quicker.  But like many of the posters (and I feel the same way) it is an accomplishment.

Switching gears a bit, there were also some good minstrel posts of late.

This first one has some good general ideas for how to play a minstrel and what to look out for.  The thread hits on a number of topics from skills to equipment to consumables and also includes some advice on traits and virtues.  And there are also some really good links scattered about as well.

For those minstrels out there wondering how much in-combat power regen (ICPR) additional fate will deliver, this thread dives into all the math involved.  Essentially fate provides a flat 1.5 in-combat MORALE regeneration (ICMR) boost for each point of fate, but the power curve is slightly different.  Some were listing a number of 0.6 ICPR, but a more accurate formula appears to be ICPR boost = 30*Fate^0.5, which actually is a boost of roughly 20% that was rolled out with the recent combat revamp.

And for those of you minstrels that are jealous of all the cool things wardens can do solo, a friend of mine posted his epic soloing of the spider Bogbereth.  Granted this is a level 50 mob, but it spawns a TON of adds and back when 50 was the level cap it was initially a raid quest 🙂  I never even thought to try it on a minstrel as I assumed the adds would be too much but it is doable, just make sure to stack ICPR and bring lots of power pots 😉

A couple more Sword Hall videos

So I uploaded a couple more videos today to share.  Both feature the Sword Halls 3-man instance in Mirkwood.

The first one is me soloing the first boss on my warden.  Pretty tricky and did take me a couple runs to get it down 🙂  I do switch out some gear as the additional negation and procs from the mirkwood crafted set really helped out.  Main thing is to follow the adage “stay out of the fire” 😉  I mainly did it just as proof that I could, I’m not sure it makes sense to really farm this as its much quicker and easier to do it as a group.  Although if I get bored, farming it for the first chest might not be a bad return for relics, runes, and the barter coin.

The second video is a run we did last night doing challenge mode or what used to be called hard mode.  Basically for this instance, challenge mode is all 3 bosses at once.  Pretty fun fight and very taxing on the healer.  I was actually pleasantly surprised on this one as this was a PUG – but we just walked in and went to it 🙂  I think the group makeup did help as we had great DPS from the hunter and the Rune-keeper’s heals are over time could  be kept up on both of us.

A little Mirkwood upgrading

So I haven’t played too much in this past week as myself and my wife have been getting over various illnesses and I just haven’t been in the mood to be sitting at the computer as opposed to on my couch.  However, I have been doing a few things to improve my warden and figured I’d share.

I am in the process of testing out the shield capstone and I’ll probably tweak my traits a bit more as well.  I haven’t grouped at all so I can’t really comment on that aspect, but I certainly have noticed a drop in my damage output.  I need to capture a couple runs via Cstats to quantify it, but it certainly is lower.  However, the extra two healing ticks is pretty nice and gives you some more breathing room.

There’s some pretty nice looking items from SG (the 6-man) and the other instances that I have my eyes on.  In no particular order:

So far, I’ve upgraded a few items – my spear (65 3rd age), my shield (the Mirkwood crafted one), a new horse, and a new necklace.  I still haven’t found a good javelin yet – but since I don’t attack all that much with it while grouped, the healing/ICPR boost is more of a requirement.  My other gear isn’t horrible at all, but I’m always looking to upgrade.  I’ll probably craft a Lorien bracelet here shortly to help on the ICPR a bit as that seems a bit low while my power pool is pretty high.  Please take a look at my current setup on MyLotro and let me know if I’m missing anything obvious.

Below are a few screenshots you can check out as well.

New Horse

New horse with Dol Guldur in the background


New Shield Looks


New Equipment

I really want to finish DN at some point and I’m itching to get into the new raid, but I need to do some serious dungeon farming to get there.  I should get into a better semblance of a schedule here soon and that should help as more groups are forming up.

Outside of my warden, I have been leveling my captain – granted it is a bit selfish as I really just wanted to get enough reputation to craft a shield for my warden 😉  What I do now, I haven’t quite figured out – I may work on my minstrel to get him caught up and get enough reputation to craft some goodies.

More later, and hopefully some more group videos!

Warden starting off the new year

There have been some really good posts and discussion on the forums lately regarding our beloved class.  I’ve replied to some, but not all as there’s some really good wardens there who are much faster to reply 😉  So, in no particular order here’s my re-cap:

There’s a good discussion on some of the math regarding warden threat generation up on the boards as well.  I’m going to try to summarize, but it might be a good one to read through yourself.  I suggest taking a look back as these 2 posts of mine as a refresher if you get lost 🙂 Threat Definitions and Gambits Part 3 – tanking.  The following math equations :

  • The magnitude of threat effects is approximately:
    .5x -Slightly increased threat
    1x -Moderately increased threat
    2x -Increased threat
    3x -Greatly increased threat
  • Total Threat = U(t) + (4 * T(t))
    U = Initial threat magnitude; see gambit tooltips for the listed magnitude of initial threat, and insert the associated value from Graalx2’s list above
    t = equivalent threat generated by damage from a single auto-attack
    4 = this is a constant; per Graalx2 above all threat over time skills have a duration of 4 pulses
    T = threat over time magnitude; see gambit tooltips for the listed magnitude of threat over time, and insert the associated value from Graalx2’s list above

are pretty helpful in understanding the various threat components.  However, there’s some disagreements on the legacy information in this thread and I agree with LagunaD from the forums that we have no quantitative information on threat legacies.  I’ve changed my stance a bit on legacies in that I’m still looking for them but I’m not concerned if they’re all not there.  Pretty much I want at least EoB or War-cry and the rest is gravy.

A usual question that comes up when picking equipment for wardens is always how much ICPR as we are quite the power hogs?  This thread has some good discussion on that topic.  I currently sit at about 1300 in Conservation and also routinely use power pots.  I don’t use them when I’m low, I start with I first use about 800 power, or start to drop below 2000 power.  This way I can try to keep ahead of things and not run completely bone dry.  I will most likely switch shields shortly to the Mirkwood Crafted one which will add another 100 ICPR for me.  I’m pretty much of the opinion that unless you have a pocket LM – if you can increase ICPR without gimping yourself do it.

A question also came up with regards to what attacks do we have that are tactical in their type. Most things we do are melee or ranged, however our heals and taunts are considered tactical and that crit rating will impact their effectiveness.  With that said, I don’t think it is a viable strategy to stat +tactical as usually you’ll have a choice between tactical, melee, and ranged and melee should always be your first choice.   The only exception I could see would be a ranged build for the moors.

From the wardens rock perspective, there’s some good chest thumping over here on soloing sword halls the 3-man Dol Guldur instance.  I have to admit I have tried it a couple of times and am real close.  I will probably try a couple more times after swapping over to the shield capstone line.

Which is a great transition for the next topic on that shield capstone.  I’m not a huge fan of it, but then again I really haven’t tried it.  So as part of my sword halls adventure I will keep it slotted for a bit to see how I like it.  Probably the biggest issue I’ll have is re-learning gambit combos now that I’ll have the shield masteries slotted.  I’ve posted my thoughts on these earlier and I don’t think it has changed too much unless I really love this little experiment I’m going to run.

As you’ve probably noticed I do read the LOTRO boards quite a bit, but mainly I use the various RSS feeds to go through them.  Now granted sometimes I will miss something good from an old thread, but for the most part I’ll subscribe to the ones I think are important.  However, after struggling with the dev tracker feed, Goldenstar from CStM pointed out that there’s a good Yahoo Pipe that helps with those issues.  I’ve made a few pipes, but mainly to do things like strip out adds or merge different feeds into one and strip out duplicates.  But I just recently made one to pretty much search the LOTRO boards for keywords Threat, Agro, Taunt, and tank.  You can check out these two as well as my other pipes at my Yahoo Pipes page. I have one that is titled “LOTRO Threat” which I did yesterday and works well but I also did the “LOTRO Tank” which should work too but I’m not 100% sure it does yet.  Feel free to use the feeds from there, or copy/tweak them as you want.